Repairing an irrigation/sprinkler fitting


Old 04-05-16, 05:34 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Repairing an irrigation/sprinkler fitting

Hi everyone,

I noticed that one of my sprinkler heads was not coming up high enough, and also popping up at an angle, and as a result not providing the necessary coverage. I dug it out, to find the sprinkler, which is at the end of the line, was connected to about 8" of what appears to be a polyethelene flexible tubing, connected to a PVC pipe. A root had grown over the flexible part, pulling it down into the ground and angling it.

I tried to reposition it, but the head snapped off. I tried screwing on a new head, only to find that there was a problem with the threading in the fitting, which stripped the threads of the new head. I also found that I couldn't easily re-position the the pipe, which has become rigid over time.

I called out a sprinkler guy and they wanted an insane amount of money for what they admitted was a 5 minute job. I want to try it myself.

Here's a photo:
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It seems to me there's two ways I can go:

1. Cut the fitting off of the flex tubing, and install a new one. Do I do this using a compression fitting like this?

2. Cut the flex tubing off of the PVC and install new flex tubing - because of the angle of the PVC, I don't think that installing more PVC will work (maybe the reason they used the flex tubing here in the first place?) - and then a new fitting. This might help me get the placement of the head into slightly better position. How so I make the connection from the flex tubing to the PVC?

Any help or advice is appreciated!
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Old 04-05-16, 05:51 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,611
I would just cut off the broken fitting at the end and glue on a new fitting. No need to replace the flexible PVC. The only reason I would replace the flex or add on to the rigid is if you want to reposition the sprinkler.
Old 04-05-16, 09:07 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Thanks, Dane. I'm a little worried that the new fitting won't work well since the flex pipe no longer "flexes" but it doesn't hurt to try. Is the fitting that I linked to the right one to use (barbed on one side, threaded on the other)? Do I just slip it into the flex pipe the same way I do with barbed fitting in my garden's drip irrigation system, or is there something more to it?
Old 04-05-16, 04:45 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 13
I stopped by Home Depot on the way home and picked up the fitting (I now know that the flex tubing is also called a "swing pipe") for $0.61. I came home, snipped off the old one with a pair of bypass pruners, wrapped both the threaded and barbed fittings with Teflon tape (something elsewhere suggested this), and bang - totally fixed. Took all of 60 seconds.

Thank you for your help!

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